Diet/ Recipe/ Salad

Wild Basmati Rice And Mango Salad

Wild Basmati Rice & Mango Salad

It is not always easy to eat salad, but when you get to eat something like wild basmati rice and mango salad you change the game.

Let me tell you a little story

I became an accidental foodpreneur after moving to Lagos. It all had to do with becoming the Mince Pie Lady of Lagos, a story I will share as time allows. A year after becoming famed for selling mince pies, I really wanted to give something back to my customers. I found that Tarts and Crumble was serving a much-needed market. People would call and order our mini quiches so that they could have lunch on the go. There is no Eat, Pret, or Sainsburys Local around that you can just walk to in Lagos. I felt bad about people eating our rich quiches all the time. So I decided to offer salads.

It was received very well but I shut it down fairly quickly. I was deeply hesitant. I just didn’t feel ready at the time. And margins did not exactly make much business sense. Coupled with the stresses of slow production, unreliable supply, daily logistics and Lagos traffic, I decided that as much as I would have loved to continue, I just couldn’t see myself trying to make and sell a hundred salads a day. That is another topic for another day. Let me know in the comments if you would love to hear more about my experience. We stuck with the baking though.

Recipe Inspiration

I must say I have got a lot of time for Pinch of Yum, who shared a Thanksgiving salad recipe with wild rice and lemon dressing. With ingredients like rice, mangoes, green leaves and herbs, it was right down my alley here in Lagos. Wild rice was not easy to find though. I found a Tilda wild basmati rice mix, but it was mostly white rice in the mix, hence my photo showing mostly white rice. It doesn’t matter. It is still delicious. A local alternative I find here is ofada rice, which is a mixture of local African rice and Indian rice, with hints of the natural red colour of African rice. Venturing into the more expensive supermarkets you will begin to find delights such as red rice and black rice, brown rice is common too. Any of these work well.

The local spinach I encounter in Lagos has a slightly alkaline river like smell which I do not like. I might notice this more than others, especially since pregnancy has changed my ability to smell and taste certain things for life. But if you don’t mind local baby spinach, most certainly use it. I am crazy about coriander though (cilantro), so I use loads of it in this recipe. Cashew nuts are also added, and we like in caches nut country here in Nigeria.

Serving Suggestions

My go-to meal for this salad is a lovely grilled and spiced up chicken breast, marinated then cooked to perfection. For vegetarian alternatives, I have experimented with adding red kidney beans but my imagination has expanded since that time. With rice, plenty of iron and calcium-rich greens, dried fruit, and nuts, this salad already packs quite a punch. The beans arent entirely necessary, but hey, I am West African by heritage so rice and peas are a regular in my culinary repertoire.

Wild Basmati Rice And Mango Salad

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By Freda Muyambo Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

It is not always easy to eat salad, but when you get to eat something like wild basmati rice and mango salad you change the game. With coriander, nuts, dried fruit, and a citrus dressing, this will knock your socks off.


  • Salad
  • 2 cups boiled wild rice
  • 2 cups chopped lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 cups chopped mango
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • ½ cup toasted cashews
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped coriander
  • Dressing
  • Juice of 2 fresh oranges
  • ¼ cup lemon
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper



1. Prepare the rice by cooking it ahead of time. A day before or first thing in the morning for a late afternoon lunch or dinner is best. Toast the cashews in a pan until roasted. Set aside to cool.


2. Assemble the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss to mix. We have also found it loads of fun to arrange the salad by bunching up the ingredients of putting him in a line.


3. To make the dressing, mix all the dressing ingredients and shake well so it can make a viscous emulsion. Season it well with salt and pepper.


Serve along with some grilled chicken breast, pork tenderloins or lean turkey breast for a super lean meal.


1. We used to add honey or similar plant-based sweetener into this salad dressing, however, our vegan and vegetarian friends explained that the salad was already naturally sweet with the mangoes and cranberries. You can try it if you like.

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